The circulation of paper money in the Netherlands Indies and Indonesia, 1940-1950.

Hans P. van Weeren

This article will present a general overview of the circulation of  paper money in the Netherlands Indies and Indonesia in the period starting with the German occupation of the Netherlands and ending with the currency reform of 1950.  The intent of this overview is to put into perspective earlier and future articles on specific paper money issues during this period.

1. Circulation from May 1940 – March 1942 under Dutch authority

 At the time of the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, there were two series of bank paper issued by the Javasche Bank in circulation.  During 1941 a new series of treasury notes was put into circulation.

 A. Series Coen II, issued 1925-1931

This series is named after Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen (Hoorn, Holland, January 8th, 1587 – Batavia, Dutch East Indies, September 21th, 1629) who is depicted on the notes and who is considered to be the founder of Dutch authority in the Indian archipelago.  The series were printed by Joh. Enschedé & Zonen, Haarlem and replaced the Coen I series which were issued from 1897 – 1924.

The Coen II series consisted of the following:

 -5 gulden purple (without portrait of J.P. Coen), with three different signature combinations.

All notes have the same watermark with multiple JB (Javasche Bank) in a honeycomb pattern

– 10 gulden green, four different signature combinations

– 25 gulden brown, three different signature combinations

– 50 gulden orange, three different signature combinations

– 100 gulden dark grey, three different signature combinations

– 200 gulden red-brown, three different signature combinations

– 300 gulden purple, one signature combination

– 500 gulden dark blue, two different signature combination

– 1000 gulden red, two different signature combination

For security reasons the notes were unfinished when shipped from the Netherlands and were finalised in Batavia when a new supply needed to be put into circulation.  The bank’s printing facilities in Batavia would then insert the date and signatures of the bank secretary and president onto the notes.  For additional checking purposes a number was stamped on the reverse of the note corresponding with the value of the note and the date of print by the Javasche Bank.  Thereby the bank was always able to determine if, for instance, a particular 500 gulden note from this series with control number 15865 was dated on August 19th, 1930.  This labour intensive security measure, which was introduced in the 19th century, was discontinued when the Javasche Bank started with the Wayang series..    

B. Wajang (Java dancers) series, issued 1934-1939

This series is named after the Wajang-Wong players, princes and princesses from the principalities of Solo (Soerakarta) and Djokjakarta, who spoke and performed wajang texts without using masks.  It was decided in 1928 not to modify the Coen issue, but rather to prepare a brand new issue.  The order was placed on March 31st, 1930 with the well-known artist C.A. Lion Cachet.  He had distinguished himself as a designer of ship interiors, stamps and also of Dutch bank notes.  The Wajang series was printed by Joh. Enschedé & Zonen, Haarlem and consisted of the following:

 –  5 gulden purple and green (depicting a nobleman from Solo).  The first issue of 1 million notes was ordered in July 1933. There are three different signature combinations. The same paper was used as for the Coen II series with watermark multiple JB in honeycomb.

– 10 gulden dark blue (depicting a man and woman from Sol).  In circulation in 1933, three different signature combinations, watermarked fancy lines

– 25 gulden purple-blue (depicting court dancers from Solo).  The first order was placed for the financial year 1935/1936 of the Javasche Bank, three different signature combinations.Watermarked straight lines.

– 50 gulden multi-colour with dancers in grey (depicting two nobles from Solo).  In  circulation since 1938, one signature combination.  Watermarked Goddess of Justice and Truth.

-100 gulden multi-colour with dancers in dark purple (depicting dancers from Djokjakarta). In circulation since 1938, one signature combination.  Watermarked Goddess of Justice and Truth. 

-200 gulden multi-colour with dancers in brown (depicting dancers from Djokjakarta).  In circulation since 1938, one signature combination.  Watermarked Goddess of Justice and  Truth.

-500 gulden multi-colour with dancers in dark blue (depicting dancers from Djokjakarta).  In circulation since 1938, one signature combination.  Watermarked Goddess of Justice and Truth.

-1000 gulden multi-colour with dancers in green (depicting dancers from Djokjakarta).  In circulation since 1938, one signature combination.  Watermarked Goddess of Justice and Truth.

As a result of the economic crisis in the 1930’s many bank notes, particularly Coen series notes with a high face value were returned to the Javasche Bank.  If the quality of these returned notes was found to be acceptable they were returned into circulation in order to reduce costs.  Thus there was less of a need to issue the new Java dancer series.  The high values of the Wajang dancer series (for which designs already existed in 1935) were only put into limited circulation during the last years before WW II.  Thus, for example, there were only 20000 bank notes of  f 100,00  and none of higher values issued during the Javasche Bank book year of 1938/1939. 

As the Germans invaded the Netherlands the Bijbank of the Javasche Bank (its affiliate in Amsterdam) succeeded in shipping all gold coins to England between May 10th and 14th, 1940 and voiding all bank notes present.  In addition, at the printer Joh. Enschedé & Zonen all printing materials for the Wajang series were destroyed.

C. The treasury notes of June 1940

Just as with the outbreak of WW I,  the breaking out of WW II  resulted in a shortage of coins because of hoarding.  Because the local economy used almost exclusively coins, especially the large silver ½, 1 and 2 ½ gulden coins were popular, measures needed to be taken rapidly.  Thus at the NV Kolff Offsetdrukkerij in Batavia treasury notes of 1 and 2 ½ gulden were printed.  The 1 gulden note had already been designed as a reserve note by Lion Cachet in 1937.  These treasury notes consisted of the following:

 – 1 gulden, fixed date June 15 1940, brown and green.  Depicts a silver gulden from 1937 and a weaving comb from Sumatra on the front and “stoepa’s” from Borobodur on the reverse.

– 2 ½ gulden, fixed date June 15 1940, brown.  Depicts J.P. Coen on the front and the emblem of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the reverse.

This series was announced on April 23rd, 1941 and put into circulation the following day.  There was also a proof prepared by Kolff of the 5 gulden in dark green.  This note dated January 15th, 1942 (the birthday of Terweij, president-director of Kolff) with serial number KO 003016 (KO stands for Kolff Offsetdrukkerij; 3016 was their telephone number).  The design was made by Johannes-Wouterus Donkers who was the operations supervisor at Kolff.  Because of the Japanese invasion it was not issued.  During the Japanese occupation Mr. Donkers also prepared designs for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent notes (none were issued).  The 10 and 25 sen notes which were issued in 1947 were also his design.

2. Circulation from March 1942 – August 1945 under Japanese authority

A. Japanese invasion money

The Japanese army brought in paper money especially made for the Netherlands Indies.  It was distributed to Japanese troops on board of the invading ships and was immediately brought into circulation.  Similar paper money was prepared for other invaded regions.  In the end, on Java and in the outer regions there were two series in circulation which were augmented by two extra values as follows on Sumatra:

 – 1 cent green.  No serial numbers, two types of serial letters: SA through SZ, and S/AA through S/GP.

– 5 cent blue.  No serial numbers, three types of serial letters: S1 through S 31, SA through SZ and S/AA through S/DB.

– 10 cent grey.  No serial numbers, three types of serial letters: S1 through S 31, SA – SZ, and S/AA through S/EX.

– Half gulden blue.  No serial numbers, serial letters SA through SM.

– 1 gulden brown.  Initially issued with serial numbers preceded by SA or SB.  Subsequently only with serial letters SB through SN.

– 5 gulden green.  Initially issued with serial numbers preceded by SA or SB.  Subsequently only with serial letters SB through SG.

– 10 gulden dark purple.  Initially issued with serial numbers preceded by SA.  Subsequently only with serial letters SB through SL

It is presumed that for every new issue of 1 million notes a new serial letter combination was chosen.  Not all combinations are known, however, and it is possible that complete series were destroyed during or after the war. 

Because it became progressively more difficult to ship money from Japan, as of October 1943, the 5 and 10 cent notes were printed by Kolff in Djakarta.  The printing of the 1 cent was discontinued because this note was no longer useful as a result of the high inflation.

B. The Nanpo series

On April 1 1943 the Japanese military authority established the “Nanpo Kaihatsu Ginko” (The Development Bank for the South) as a circulation bank.  This organisation was also known by its shortened name “Nanpatsu”.  The Nanpo series comprised the following:

– ½ roepiah grey, serial letters SP in red

– 1 roepiah green, serial letters SN in red

– 5 roepiah green-brown, serial letters SM in red

– 10 roepiah grey, serial letters SL in red

– 100 roepiah grey-brown, serial letters SK in red

The series was issued as of September 1944 with the 100 roepiah being issued in 1945.  The series was printed by Kolff in Djakarta (at the time known as Djakarta Insatsu Kodjo).

C. The Sumatra 1945 series

This series was only put into circulation on Sumatra and consisted of the following:

– 100 roepiah brown, first printing in Japan, high quality from plates.  Subsequently by offset in poor quality

– 1000 roepiah in grey-green.  High quality offset printing

These notes are the same design as the Japanese 100 and 1000 dollar notes of Malaya.  It is still unclear if the 1000 roepiah note was actually put into circulation. 

The issues from other occupied regions were also legal tender at the same face value as notes issued in the Netherlands Indies.  On Sumatra, in particular, there was a lot of Malayan money in circulation.

 In 1947, the Javasche Bank estimated that on Java 2,4 billion gulden in Japanese money had been put into circulation, while on Sumatra 1,6 billion.  After the Japanese capitulation another 2 billion gulden came (unauthorized by the Dutch authorities or allied command) into circulation.  In part this money was obtained fraudulently by Japanese officials from Japanese banks on Sumatra and partially also from robbing the vaults of the Javasche Bank in among other places Surabaya.  In addition, the Dutch Indies government financed large expenditures from September 1945 through March 1946 with invasion money.  The total circulation swelled to some 8 billion gulden.  This was a very large increase compared with prior to the war when in March 1941 the Javasche Bank had 230 million gulden in circulation.  At the end of December 1945 there was also still a supply of some 1,8 billion in Japanese paper money in bank vaults.  This comprised principally the low denominated notes of 1 through 50 sen which had become useless as result of inflation. 

The Netherlands Indies money was never taken out of circulation by the Japanese and retained its status as legal tender.  After the war it became apparent that on March 8th, 1942 the Japanese had put into circulation an additional 87 million gulden from the supplies of the Javasche Bank (above the 367 million which were already in circulation).

The Japanese invasion money and Nanpo series were used on a large scale on Celebes from 1950-1965 by the independence movement “Republik Islam Indonesia” of Kahar Muzakkar (allied with the Darul Islam movement).  The notes were stamped with the text “Ketua Pemerintah Umum Sementara, Republik Indonesia, Bagian Timur” (Chairman of the interim government of the Islamic Republic Indonesia, East Indonesia region).

 3. Circulation from August 1945 – December 1949 under Dutch authority

 A. The NICA series dated March 2nd, 1942.

On March 6th, 1946 the pre-war treasury notes and the bank notes of the Javasche Bank were declared no longer to be legal tender.  In the area under Dutch control the circulation of money consisted officially only of treasury notes from the NICA series.

This series printed by the American Banknote Company in the USA was based on the Royal Decree nr 1. of March 2 1943.  This paper money (treasury notes issued by the Netherlands Indies government and not the Javasche Bank) was gradually introduced in those areas of the Netherlands Indies which were being re-occupied, starting in 1944 in New Guinea.  The name NICA money comes from the returning Dutch authorities which were known as the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration (NICA).  This money was known to the Indonesians as oeang merah (red money).  One explanation for this name is that the much used note of 10 gulden was red.  Another explanation is that the government of the Republik Indonesia which was fighting the Dutch authorities for independence had put the death penalty on anyone who possessed this money.  The NICA series consisted of the following:

 – 50 cent orange, reverse in green

– 1 gulden black, reverse in green

– 2 ½  gulden purple, reverse in green

– 5 gulden dark blue, reverse in green

– 10 gulden red, reverse in green

– 25 gulden brown, reverse in green

– 50 gulden olive green, reverse in green

– 100 gulden dark brown, reverse in green

– 500 gulden in grey-blue, reverse in green

The Dutch authorities were not successful in bringing sufficient NICA money into circulation.  In addition, the nationalists under the Indonesian population did not accept the money and in general it was felt that the conversion rate of 3 cents of NICA money for 1 gulden of Japanese money was too low.  As a result the Japanese money remained in circulation and the Dutch authorities, much to their chagrin, also had to use Japanese money.  In total 800 million gulden of NICA money was printed and brought into circulation between 1944 and 1947.

Because of the stance taken by the local population in the outer territories the pre-war bank notes of the Javasche Bank and the pre-war treasury notes were finally declared to be legal tender again.  For Java this was, at least temporarily, only the pre-war 5 gulden note.

B. The Provisional series of 1947 and the re-introduction of the old Javasche Bank series

On July15 1947 the Javasche Bank began to issue its own bank paper again.  From the 1946 Javasche Bank series the first notes put into circulation were coupons of 5 and 10 gulden followed by a note of 25 gulden.  They were, as before the war, printed by Joh. Enschedé & Zonen in Haarlem.  This series consisted of:

 – 5 gulden violet and red, reverse purple and green

– 10 gulden green, reverse green and red

– 25 gulden red, reverse red and green

The issue was introduced when the NICA money had been nearly fully put into circulation.  The Provisional series was intended to bridge the period till the planned currency reform. However, the issue had been nearly completely used up long before one could begin to think about currency reform through the issuance of newly prepared notes from the Javasche Bank.  Thus on May 27th, 1948 the pre-war bank notes of the Javasche Bank and the pre-war government treasury notes were again declared legal tender.  As a result the Javasche Bank could again circulate large supplies of the Coen II and Wajang series.  This consisted of supplies of uncirculated paper from the vaults as well as previously exchanged paper.  The supply of money in circulation increased rapidly during the period 1947-1949.  In March 1947 there was 1,1 billion gulden in circulation, in March 1948 almost 1,4 billion and in March 1949 nearly 1,7 billion. 

 C. The treasury notes dated December 1, 1947

During 1940 the circulation of coins in the Netherlands Indies was estimated at 200 million gulden.  During the Japanese occupation nearly all coins disappeared from circulation.  In Japan three coins were minted at the mint in Osaka.  An aluminium 1 sen coin with dates 2603 and 2604 (1943 and 1944) with a total production of 300 million pieces, an aluminium 5 sen coin with date 2603 (1943) with quantity produced unknown, and a tin 10 sen coin with dates 2603 and 2604 (1943 and 1944) with a production of 180 million pieces.  These coins were not put into circulation since it appears the entire shipment was lost at sea during transport from Japan. 

Starting in 1943 by order of the Netherlands Indies government an additional 64 million gulden was minted in the USA.  By end March 1946 the Javasche Bank still had nearly 50 million gulden in coins but on November 26th only some 2,5 million gulden was still in its safes.  The coins rapidly disappeared from circulation as the copper was used to make spoons, pans, nuts, bolts and similar items.  The silver coins were used to make the well-known Djokja silver artefacts.  Used for these ends the coins were worth more than their face value. 

 After considering various alternatives such as using the aluminium from airplanes left in the jungle, it was decided to have Kolff in Batavia print treasury notes of 10 and 25 sen.  The design was from Kolff operations supervisor Donkers and the issue consisted of:

– 10 sen green and brown, reverse in red.  No serial numbers

– 25 sen brown and yellow, reverse in blue.  No serial numbers

The printing of this issue was continued even after Indonesia gained its independence until it had its own coins available.

The transfer of sovereignty (except over New Guinea) from the Dutch to Indonesian authorities took place on December 27 1949.  On May 1 1963 West New Guinea also became a part of Indonesia.

4. Circulation from August 1945 – December 1949 under Indonesian authority

On August 17th, 1945 Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed the independence of Indonesia.  On October 3 1945 the Republik Indonesia declared the Japanese money, pre-war government treasury notes and bank paper from the Javasche Bank all legal tender.  In Announcement Nr. 19 of October 25 1946 the following exchange rates for Japanese money were established:

Java and Madoera f 50,- Japanese is 1 roepiah Oeang Repoeblik Indonesia 

Outer territories f 100,- Japanese is 1 roepiah Oeang Repoeblik Indonesia 

Oeang (or uang in the 1949 spelling) means money in Indonesian.


General issues for Java

 A. Series dated Jakarta 17 oktober 1945

 This series came into circulation in October 1946 through Announcement Nr. 17 of October 10th, 1946.  The issue was originally foreseen for February 1st, 1946 but the first supply (3000 kilos of paper money) was captured by the allies, thus a new supply had to be printed.  The series consisted of the following:

 – 1 sen green and grey-green

– 5 sen purple, banteng in the underprint

– 10 sen brown               

– ½ rp green and pink

– 1 rp blue, portrait of Soekarno

– 5 rp green, portrait of Soekarno

– 10 rp blue and green, portrait of Soekarno

– 100 rp dark blue and green, kris in the underprint, and portrait of Soekarno

 In this series there are many different serial numbers.

B. Series dated Djokjakarta 1 januari 1947

This series consisted of the following:

 – 5 rp green, portrait of Soekarno

– 10 rp blue and green, portrait of Soekarno

– 25 rp dark blue and pink, portrait of Soekarno

– 100 rp dark blue and green, kris in the underprint, and portrait of Soekarno

C. Series dated Djokjakarta 26 djuli 1947

This series consisted of the following:

– ½ rp red, black serial letters

– 2 ½ rp dark purple, black serial letters

– 25 rp dark blue and light green, pre-printed series indicator SDX 1, portrait of Soekarno

– 50 rp dark brown and pink, red serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 100 rp dark brown and beige, black serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 100 rp dark purple and pink, pre-printed series indicator SDA 1, portrait of Soekarno

– 250 rp dark brown and pink, red serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

D. Series dated Jogjakarta 23 agustus 1948

This series consisted of the following:

 – 40 rp black-brown and light blue, black serial letters

– 75 rp red brown and dark pink, black serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 100 rp dark brown and beige, red serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 400 rp dark brown and green, black serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 600 rp green and beige (unfinished and not issued)

E. Series dated Djokjakarta 17 augustus 1949 in rupiah baru

This series was denominated in rupiah baru (new roepiahs) and was intended for a never realised currency reform on Java.  The series was later brought into circulation for a currency reform only in Aceh (Sumatra).  For overview purposes is this series described in the Java section.  This series comprised:

 – 10 sen blue, red signature

– 10 sen red, black signature

– ½ rp green, red signature 

– ½ rp red, black signature

– 1 rp purple, red signature and serial numbers

– 10 rp black purple and yellow, red signature and serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 10 rp red-purple and pink, black signature and serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

– 100 rp light purple and yellow, black signature, red serial numbers, portrait of Soekarno

Local issues on Java

Local issues of paper money are known for Blitar, Bodjonegoro, Jogjakarta, Kediri, Kedu, Madiun, Magelang, Magetan, Malang, Pati, Patjitan, Serang, Surakarta and Tjepu.  The denominations were the relatively low 1, 2 ½, 5 and 10 roepiah values.  These notes were also known as passar money, low values to be used at the market.


General issues for Sumatra

Following is an overview of the known series and issue dates.  Many notes exist in varying colours and with differences in printing and serial numbers.

Pematang Siantar, March 31 1947 (1, 5, 10 and 100 rp)


– 17.   8. 1947 (½, 1, 2 ½, 5, 10 and 25 rp)

–   7. 12. 1947 (2 ½ rp)

–   1.   1. 1948 (1, 5, and 10 rp)

– 17.   1. 1948 (25 rp)

–   1.   4. 1948 (5, 10 and 50 rp)

– 17.   4. 1948 (100 rp)

At Boekittinggi were also printed the notes for the following areas:

– Daerah (residency) Djambi, 17. 12. 1947 (10 rp)

– Daerah Riau, 17. 12. 1947 (5 rp)

– Sub-Propinsi Sumatera Selatan (sub-province South Sumatra), 1. 1. 1948 (1, 2 ½, 10 rp)

– Daerah Sumatera Timur (residency East Sumatra), 1. 1. 1948 (5 rp)

– Daerah Atjeh, 1. 1. 1948 (10 and 25 rp)

– Daerah Tapanuli, 1. 1.1948 (5 rp)

– Daerah Sumatera Barat (residency West Sumatra), 17. 1. 1948 (10 rp)

Some of these series also exist printed locally with printing materials sent from Boekittinggi.

Local issues on Sumatra 

Local issues of paper money are known for the following cities, areas and authorities:  Asahan, Barus, Bengkoeloe, Bukit Barisan, Djambi, Dolok Nanggar, Koealoeh Leidong, Koetaradja, Kotaboemi, Laboehan Bilik, Langsa, Lima Poeloeh, Nias, Pagar Alam, Palembang, Pematang Siantar, Pendopo, Pessir Selatan, Rantau Prapat, Sumatera Selatan, Tandjung Karang, Tapanoeli, Tigabinanga, Tjurup, T.N.I. Resimen I divisi X, Wingfoot plantage (plantation).

Denominations varied up to 25 million roepiah.

5. Circulation in 1950 under the Republik Indonesia Serikat

The currency reform of 1950: exchange of generally circulating bank paper

On March 19th, 1950 the Minister of Finance of the Republik Indonesia Serikat (R.I.S., the Republic of the United States of Indonesia) announced a currency reform by decree nr. P.U. 1. 

All circulating treasury and bank notes with denominations of 5 gulden or higher were to be halved.  The left side of the notes remained in circulation at 50% of the nominal value.  Subsequently, these halves were exchanged for new bank paper from the Javasche Bank and treasury notes from the R.I.S.  The new series from the Javasche Bank consisted of 10 denominations.  The low values were 50 sen (purple and green), 1 rp (blue and yellow) and

2 ½ rp (red and light green) and were dated 1948.  The higher values were 5 rp (brown), 10 rp (green), 25 rp (green), 50 rp (blue), 100 rp (brown), 500 rp (red) and 1000 rp (black-grey).  They were dated 1946, the same year as the three values of the provisional issue withdrawn as part of this currency reform but the colours are different.  Concurrently treasury notes of 5 rupiah (red) and 10 rupiah (purple) with the country name “Republik Indonesia Serikat” and dated 1 januari 1950, were put into circulation.  To issue this last series emergency legislation was needed (Emergency legislation concerning the issuing of treasury notes of the Republic of the United States of Indonesia No. 21 of June 2nd, 1950). 

The right side of the halved notes (on the NICA notes this had the portrait of the queen, on the Coen II series that of J.P. Coen) could be exchanged for a participation in the Government Bond of 1950 of the Republiek Indonesia which had a 3 % interest rate.  This bond was initially issued in coupons with nominal denominations of 100, 500 and 1000 rp.  Subsequently, in 1950 was added a denomination of 10000 rp and in 1954 a denomination of 100000 rp.  They were printed by Kolff.

Possession of the old issues from the Javasche Bank was prohibited.  However, they remained in circulation in the area controlled by the Republik Maluku Selatan (Republic of the South Moluccas) which had rebelled against the R.I.S.

The 10 and 25 sen notes (the December 1947 issue) remained valid legal tender as well as the 50 cent (NICA issue of 1943) and 1 and 2 ½ gulden (treasury notes of June 1940 and NICA issue of March 1943).  These were valid at full nominal face value.

Exchange rates for local Republican bank paper in 1950

By decree nr. 53910 of the Minister of Finance of March 28 1950 the exchange rates for the Republican money was established as follows:

Rp. 125,- URI (Uang Republik Indonesia, these were the Java emissions) is rp 1,-  R.I.S.

Rp. 125,- URIPS (Uang Republik Indonesia Propinsi Sumatera, printed at Pematang Siantar,  Bukittinggi or locally with material from Bukittinggi) is rp. 1,- R.I.S.

Rp. 350,- URIT (Uang Republik Indonesia Tapanuli) is rp. 1,- R.I.S.

Rp. 450,- URPSU ( Uang Republik Indonesia Propinsi Sumatera Utara, in circulation in North Sumatara) is rp.1 R.I.S.

Rp. 1,75 URIBA (Uang Republik Indonesia Baru Atjeh, the bank paper that was in circulation after the currency reform) is rp. 1,- R.I.S.

By decree P.U. 56 of May 17th, 1950 the following was added to this list:

Rp 12000,- URIN (Uang Republik Indonesia Nias, an island near Sumatra) is rp. 1,- R.I.S.

The exchange, however, was limited to rp. 50 per person and only in the Renville area.  The rest was blocked.

From these official decrees one can see that the locally issued paper (particularly that from Sumatra) was sub-divided in large groups.  It is probable, however, that much of the locally printed money had already disappeared from circulation because of the low quality printing and paper.  It is also thought that Soekarno put the death penalty on the possession of provisional money issued by the military because of potential monetary chaos.  Perhaps he also feared the military would become too independent if it issued its own money.  In subsequent years this indeed did happen in Indonesia.


With thanks to David B. August, Manèl Garretsen, Ed van Gelder, Alim A. Sumana and Mathis Verkooyen for their contribution.

The author would appreciate any reactions to this article.  He can be reached via e-mail at


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